This species was described long ago from specimens that supposedly came from Brazil (Roger 1863). As Creighton (1950) remarks, it is most unlikely that this species is native to Brazil, where the types were collected, and also native to the southeastern U.S., without any occurrences in between. Even Creighton, whose greatest strength was not in field ecology, noted that in the Southeast C. socius shows all the characteristics of a native species. It appears to us as a classic coastal plain ant, adapted to the sand soils of frequently burned, open pine woodlands. It is hard to imagine that it is equally at home in the province of Amazonas in Brazil, from which it is reported (Kempf 1972). Moreover, of all Florida Camponotus species, socius is the least likely to have been transported to or from Brazil, as the nests are deep in sandy soil in undisturbed habitats. Before admitting that this species had been introduced either in Florida or Brazil, we would want to be sure that there are not two species lumped under that name (if this turns out to be the case, there is already a name available for the Florida species). It is also possible that the specimens that Roger used for his 1863 description of the species were mislabeled, and came from southern North America rather than northern South America. (Deyrup, Davis & Cover, 2000.)
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- socius. Camponotus socius Roger, 1863a: 140 (w.) BRAZIL. Forel, 1879a: 74 (s.); Mayr, 1886d: 422 (q.); Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 321 (m.). Combination in C. (Myrmothrix): Forel, 1914a: 269; in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Emery, 1925b: 82. Senior synonym of osceola: Creighton, 1950a: 379.
- osceola. Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex) socius var. osceola Wheeler, W.M. 1932a: 15 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of socius: Creighton, 1950a: 379.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Wheeler (1910) – Major Length, 11-13 mm.; head, 3.3 x 3.2 mm.; scape, 3.5 mm.; hind tibia, 3.5 mm.
Head but little longer than broad, broader behind than in front, with slightly excised posterior border and slightly convex cheeks, convex dorsal and flattened gular surface. Eyes moderately large, feebly convex. Mandibles 6-toothed. Clypeus rather indistinctly carinate, its anterior border produced as a broad lobe, rounded on the sides and sinuately excised in the middle. Frontal carinae lyrate. Antennal scapes flattened but not dilated at the base, thickened towards the tips, which reach well beyond the posterior corners of the head. Thorax rather robust. in front narrower than the hend, laterally compressed behind; in profile with evenly arched dorsum. Epinotum rounded, its base fully twice as long as the sloping declivity. Petiole rather high and narrow, with strongly convex anterior, more feebly convex posterior surface and blunt, rounded margin. Gaster of the usual shape. Legs long, middle and hind tibiae distinctly flattened.
Mandibles shining, striato-punctate near the teeth, but elsewhere with scattered punctures. Body, femora and antenna~ opaque, very minutely and densely punctate, tibiae somewhat shining. Clypeus and sides of head with small, scattered punctures.
Hairs and pubescence yellow, the former moderately abundant but short, present on the postero-lateral portions of the head but not on the cheeks; on the legs short, scattered and oblique, except on the flexor surfaces of the femora, where there is a row of long erect hairs. Middle and hind tibiae with a row of rather short, graduated bristles extending nearly their entire length. Scapes without erect hairs. Pubescence short and sparse, distinct only on the dorsum of the gaster.
Ferruginous red; mandibles and scapes darker; anterior border of clypeus and cheeks black. Gaster black, with golden yellow posterior border to each segment, a broad transverse golden band on the first, and another at the base of the second segment.
Minor Length, 7.5-10.5 mm.
Head longer than broad, Slightly broader in front than behind with rounded postocular portion and feebly convex sides. Clypeus more distinctly carinate than in the worker major, broadly rounded in front, with a very faint median notch. Antennal scapes very slightly flattened at their bases. Thorax similar to• that of the worker major, but base of epinotum fully three times as long as the declivity. Petiole longer than broad, but higher than long, thick and subconical, with blunt border.
Sculpture, pilosity and color as in the worker major, but mandibles not darker than the remainder of the head, clypeus somewhat yellowish and antennal scapes red like the funiculi.
Wheeler (1910) - Length, 15-16 mm.
Pale ferruginous, antennal funiculi, gaster and legs more or less yellowish red, mandibles reddish brown, scutellum, especially near its edges, and the tarsi brown, posterior border of gastric segment and anterior portion of same, excepting the first segment, dark brown. Pilosity as in the worker, but sparser. Head as in the major worker very finely and densely punctate, partly finely shagreened, and in addition, especially on the clypeus and cheeks, with scattered punctures. Mandibles nearly smooth, with scattered punctures, 6-toothed. Clypeus not carinate, its anterior border produced as in the worker major and with rounded corners mesial to the excisions. Thorax finely reticulate-rugulose, above moderately shining. Petiole moderately thick, with rounded upper border. Gaster very finely transversely rugulose.
Wheeler (1910) - Length, 9 mm.
Head longer than broad; rounded behind; cheeks subparallel, concave, as long as the eyes. Clypeus convex, scarcely carinate, with rounded anterior border. Mandibles edentate. Eyes rather small. Antenna) slender, scapes not flattened at the base, first funicular joint very feebly incrassated, as long as the second. Thorax robust, epinotum rounded, sloping, with subequal base and declivity. Petiole low and thick, upper border sharp, distinctly excised in the middle. Gaster small; legs and antennal long and slender. Surface of body shining; head and thorax more coarsely, gaster much more finely and superficially shagreened. Mandibles subopaque, finely punctate.
Pilosity similar to that of the worker, but erect hairs absent on thorax, on legs much shorter and appressed.
Chestnut brown; anterior portion of head, antenna), legs, articulations of thorax and edges of gastric segments yellowish brown. Wings faintly suffused with yellow; veins and stigma pale yellow.
- Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 379, Senior synonym of osceola)
- Deyrup, M., Davis, L. & Cover, S. 2000. Exotic ants in Florida. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 126, 293-325.
- Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 82, Combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex))
- Forel, A. 1879a. Études myrmécologiques en 1879 (deuxième partie [1re partie en 1878]). Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 16: 53-128 (page 74, soldier described)
- Forel, A. 1914a. Le genre Camponotus Mayr et les genres voisins. Rev. Suisse Zool. 22: 257-276 (page 269, Combination in C. (Myrmothrix))
- Mayr, G. 1886d. Die Formiciden der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 419-464 (page 422, queen described)
- Roger, J. 1863a. Die neu aufgeführten Gattungen und Arten meines Formiciden-Verzeichnisses nebst Ergänzung einiger früher gegebenen Beschreibungen. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7: 131-214 (page 140, worker described)
- Tschinkel, W.R. 2005. The nest architecture of the ant, Camponotus socius. Journal of Insect Science 5:9.
- Tschinkel, W.R. 2015. The architecture of subterranean ant nests: beauty and mystery underfoot. Journal of Bioeconomics 17:271–291 (DOI 10.1007/s10818-015-9203-6).
- Wheeler, W. M. 1910g. The North American ants of the genus Camponotus Mayr. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 20: 295-354 (page 319, male described)